Weekend Cooking: Turkish Freekeh Pilaf

Weekend Cooking: Turkish Freekeh Pilaf

Freekeh Pilaf (Firik bulguru pilavi)

Region: Gaziantep, Mediterranean Region and Southeastern Anatolia

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus overnight soaking

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

1 (300 g) turkey leg

80 g chickpeas, soaked overnight in water, drained and peeled

¾ tsp salt

150 g freekeh 

½ tsp black pepper 

70g ghee 

This is a dish for celebrations and special occasions such as weddings.

In a large saucepan, bring 2 litres (8½ cups/70 fl oz) water to the boil, add the turkey leg, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and ¼ teaspoon salt, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the turkey leg from the pan with a slotted spoon, pull the meat from the bone and shred.

Measure the remaining water in the pan. If there is more than 600 ml (2½ cups/20 fl oz) water in the pan, discard the extra; if too little, add boiling water to make up the difference. Add the freekeh and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Heat the ghee in a sauté pan over medium heat, add the pulled turkey meat and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and sauté, mixing for 2 minutes. Serve the pilaf topped with the turkey and a sprinkling of the remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

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